Not everyone wants to talk about the travel FOMO (fear of missing out) we feel when everyone we know is somewhere else, and we are not. It hits us when we go online and see photos of our friends’ latest Europe getaway, our college roommate’s backpacking trip to South America, or even just our officemate’s latest #weekendwarrior expedition to the nearest hiking trail.
FOMO is a real psychological condition that is affecting more and more people each day. Mainly due to a high usage of social media, FOMO puts us under the illusion that everyone else is living more fabulous lives than our own.
With more and more of our social media connections posting their travels online, it’s easy to get caught up in FOMO and wallow in depression and envy. Thankfully, we’ve collected some helpful and positive thoughts to beat travel FOMO once and for all.
1. There is no shame in saving up in lieu of travelling
There is nothing shameful about not being able to afford to travel. Let’s face it, travel is expensive. Those piso fares may cut you a big deal, but only for one-way routes. If you’re travelling to countries with a higher monetary power than yours, everything is more expensive than what you’re used to. Some make use of Couchsurfing to score a free room, but what about those who aren’t comfortable with sharing a space with a complete stranger?
There is nothing wrong with setting your travel plans aside to maintain a healthy bank account. It’s completely fine if you would rather save up for retirement and postpone your travel plans until you feel that your finances are secured. We live in uncertain times, and always having a backup plan in terms of finances will help keep us afloat.
Give yourself a pat on the back if you’re pinching pennies and tightening your belt instead of splurging. It’s a good habit to nurture and will surely reward you in the long run.
2. Social media is not real life
So maybe you saw your high school batchmate’s post about their latest trip to Japan with her fiancé. Or maybe you saw your cousin’s Instagram story about eating fries in New York. These instances can either inspire us or send us into a tailspin of envy.
Remember that no one is living a perfect life. Everything online is curated and meant to paint a picture-perfect scene of success, happiness, and fulfilment. No one really posts about credit card debt, disagreement with their significant other, or even choosing a job that pays over a job they’re passionate about.
3. Travel for the experience, not for the posts
Travel is a way to enrich our minds, and not a way to brag about our spending power. Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with showing off our latest getaway online. A lot of us travel for new backdrops for our #OOTDs, or to snap a selfie at the Eiffel Tower. But when it becomes the sole purpose of our travels, our enjoyment of the experience diminishes.
Travelling isn’t an avenue to keep up with the Joneses, but a way to connect with ourselves and the people we love. It’s also a way to learn about the world outside our homes. Post and blog all you want, but be sure to come home with a fuller heart and a more open mind.
4. Don’t quit your day job if you can’t afford to
There are a ton of websites and blogs that teach us how we can quit our office jobs and become digital nomads. For many who love to travel, this is the ultimate dream. Imagine a life of no more leave filing, just an unlimited amount of time to spend exploring the world.
However, this life isn’t as peachy as it may seem. First, quitting our corporate jobs to go after a dream is not always the wisest thing to do. Perhaps blogging on the side, or posting personal articles of your mini getaways (dinner at a fantastic restaurant, a local concert that moved you), can hone your travel writing skills.
Our jobs may suck sometimes, if not most of the time. But they are what keep us alive, and for some, sustain family members in need. Don’t hand in that resignation letter then spend the year backpacking all over the world. Have something to fall back on so you don’t become a starving vagabond.
5. There will always be seat sales
Seat sales really are a godsend for travel addicts. However, they often come with catchy lines that pressure us to book before thinking things through, like, “BOOK NOW! HURRY!” Well, here’s some comforting news for you: you don’t need to book that flight right now.
With some patience, you’ll see that another airline is offering another seat sale, right after another’s has ended. A better deal sometimes comes along when we are finally ready to book that flight. So, don’t beat yourself up if you weren’t able to grab seats during that last piso fare. There’s always bound to be another one to come up when you need it most. (And on that note, don’t forget to join our Flight Deals group on Facebook!)
FOMO should not be the driving force of our travel plans. If there are things holding you back from travelling, it’s okay. You can always take care of those first. You are not a failure if you cannot afford to travel, or if you can’t make it your full-time job — you are exactly where you need to be.
Travel FOMO may be a real thing, but it shouldn’t ruin your mental health. Protect yourself from destructive travel FOMO-related thoughts by reminding yourself that you are doing your best, and you will be rewarded for it in the right time.